Technically speaking this was 2 dishes from 8-pc’s of chicken, I like to use a drum and thigh combo for making this because it has the most flavour and since I am making two dishes from one batch of chicken I want the tastiest pieces. The chicken is cooked first in a stock to create the base for the soup, and then the meat is stripped off combined with some of the stock vegetables and turned into Chicken Pot Pies.
Bacon, Potato & Leek Soup with a crispy fiery topping
For the stock
– 8 pc’s of chicken, skin on, drums and thighs work well
– 2 cloves of garlic, left in the skin
– 2 carrots peeled and roughly chopped
– 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
– 3 sprigs of Italian flat leaf parsley
– salt & pepper
– 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 50gms butter
– 2 sprigs thyme
– 700mls water
For the soup
– 1 medium size bunch of leeks
– 2 large potatoes, peeled, and cut into small cubes
– 500mls fresh chicken stock
– 200gms good quality streaky bacon
– 100mls cream
– 50gms butter
– 1 sprig of thyme
Start by preparing the stock. In a heavy based sauce pan, heat the olive oil till hot then add the chicken pieces, skin on. Once the chicken has browned on one side, turn it over and as the second side is browning add the rough chopped carrots, whole garlic cloves and the red onion. Allow the chicken and vegetables to begin to develop some colour, once the chicken has browned on all sides and the vegetables have begun to soften, add the water, thyme and parsley and bring to the boil. Lower the heat slightly and allow the stock to simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is done and the stock is well flavoured.
When the stock is ready place a colander in a large bowl, one large enough to carry all the liquid. Pour the contents of the stock pot into the colander. Most of the stock will go towards making the soup, and the meat and reserved vegetables will go into a chicken pie, so throw nothing nearly everything will be used.
While the stock is simmering begin to make the soup. In a heavy based pot add a touch of olive oil, then add the diced bacon and begin to cook it, once it has started to lose its fats and crisp up, add the butter, thyme and the rinsed and finely sliced leeks and cook for about 8-minutes until the leeks have begun to soften. Then add the finely diced potato pieces, about 1cmx1cm, they cook quickest like this and blend easily after. Cook for a further 5-minutes then increase the heat and add the stock. Allow to simmer until the potatoes have softened and begun to break apart, check the seaoning, add the cream and remove from the heat.
Allow the soup to cool slightly, then blend it till smooth in a blender or with an immersion blender, check and adjust seasoning.
For a little winter cheer I garnished mine with crispy chunks of bacon, tiny little potato croutons made by slowly frying potatoes in duck fat, then I fried a red chili in the same fat till crispy and finally a few slices of garlic were quickly browned and remove to prevent bitterness. A spicy, crunchy, garnish that has so much more flavour than old fashioned croutons.
READ ABOUT TURNING THE LEFT OVER CHICKEN AND STOCK INTO DELICIOUSGARLICKY CHICKEN POT PIES TOMORROW ON THE SECRET JOZI CHEF